West Brom appoint Steve Clarke as new manager after leaving role at Liverpool

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor

 

 

Clarke is a former Scottish international who starred also for St Mirren and Chelsea during his playing days


 

Steve Clarke has been appointed as the new head coach of Premier League club West Bromwich Albion signing a two-year contract.

The 48-year-old left Liverpool earlier this week having been assistant manager to fellow Scotsman Kenny Dalglish who was sacked from the Anfield club last month after a poor eighth finish in the Premier League during 2011-12. It is Clarke's first job in a managerial capacity after spells at Newcastle United, Chelsea and Liverpool as a member of the backroom staff team.

Clarke said about the appointment: "Becoming a head coach in my own right has always been an ambition of mine and I feel I have served my apprenticeship. I've done everything I could as an assistant. I'm absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity. I'm delighted West Brom have given me the chance to make that progression and I'm determined to make the most of it."

The confirmation of Clarke becoming manager ends the search for a new boss which has lasted for five weeks after Roy Hodgson became the coach of the England national side on 1st May.

The former Chelsea assistant had emerged as a leading contender for the role after his departure from Anfield was confirmed by the League Managers' Association (LMA) on Wednesday. Newly appointed Norwich City boss Chris Hughton, former Chelsea and AS Roma manager Claudio Ranieri, ex-Chelsea assistant boss Ray Wilkins and former Schalke boss Ralf Rangnick had also been linked with the vacant job at the West Midlands club.

West Bromwich Albion sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth revealed that Clarke's coaching ability was integral to him being the number one candidate. He said: "We firmly believe we have appointed the right man to keep the club moving forward. After Roy was appointed as England manager we cast the net far and wide to identify the most suitable candidate to fill his shoes. From the outset we decided to pursue candidates who are renowned for their coaching ability and Steve was very much at the forefront of our thoughts because of the clubs he has worked at and the high regard he is held in within the game. Steve has a real hunger and drive to succeed as a number one and is excited about the ongoing project we have at the club."

Clarke parted company with Liverpool on "amicable terms" after the appointment of Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers to the Anfield hotseat at the end of last month. Clarke had offered his resignation after the sacking of Dalglish however this was rejected by the club. He was Dalglish's first major acquisition to his coaching staff in January 2011 after taking on the managerial job for a second time with the Reds. He had previously undertaken coaching jobs at Newcastle, Chelsea and West Ham during their time in the Premier League working under Dutchman Ruud Gullit and Jose Mourinho during his time with the Blues while he was Gianfranco Zola's right hand man at Upton Park.

In a statement from the club's official website, Clarke- who played over 400 games for Chelsea during an eleven year period with the Stamford Bridge side- was now "looking forward to the next challenge in his career". He faces a tough task to improve on last season's achievements with Hodgson steering West Brom to a tenth- placed Premier League finish last season for the first time in the club's history.  

 

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